Batter Licker

December 31, 2010

beer-steamed lobster tails

Filed under: seafood — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Kristen @ 12:32 pm

It’s New Year’s Eve, and let’s be realistic. As much as you may want to celebrate the first day of the 2011 with a decadent meal tomorrow, festivities that end up getting a little too festive tonight are likely to get in the way of prepping a complicated New Year’s Day dinner. Luckily, a little beer, a steamer basket, some fresh or defrosted lobster tails, and some melted butter provide a simple, hangover-friendly solution. And with frozen lobster tails running about $6 each, this makes a perfectly romantic dinner for two without breaking the bank.

SAM_3238-250 SAM_3251-250

Boiling beer rises up to tenderize the lobster as it steams the luscious meat. While your lobsters cook, you can whip up drawn butter, which is basically just butter melted to the point that milk solids clump together and can be spooned out of the silky magnificence left behind. (more…)

December 28, 2010

creamy honey-garlic-dijon vinaigrette with chopped romaine

To turn my ultimate shrimp cocktail from an appetizer into a dinner entree, I whipped up this simple salad. By jazzing up a fresh vinaigrette with some Greek yogurt, I turned it into a creamy yet light and tangy salad dressing that tastes refreshing and pairs well with most seafood. Topped it with some grated Parmesan for a little salty texture, and this salad is good to go.

SAM_3232-250 SAM_3233-250


(more…)

December 27, 2010

spice-boiled shrimp and cocktail sauce

I’ve had a lot of bad shrimp cocktails in my life. You know, the ones where the shrimp is rubbery from overcooking, the $19 restaurant appetizer features only four measly little creatures, the shrimp has absolutely zero seasoning whatsoever, or the cocktail sauce tastes like ketchup and ketchup only. But all those shrimp cocktail mishaps (especially the ones at renowned, expensive fish restaurants!) were for the better because they encouraged me to start making shrimp cocktail at home.

In other words, this is not one of those disappointing, lackluster recipes.

SAM_3220-250 SAM_3223-250
SAM_3226-250 SAM_3227-250

This shrimp cocktail may be unlike any one you’ve ever had in that the shrimp, while boiled, is actually seasoned. A little lemon, some very flavorful Creole seasoning from my Jambalaya recipe, and a tiny bit of salt infuse the shrimp with the subtle flavor you may not have realized you were missing. And with just two minutes of cooking time and a quick shock in ice water to prevent shrimp from continuing to cook and becoming rubbery, this dish comes together in mere minutes.

The cocktail sauce also comes together with a quickly whisked combination of sweet ketchup, spicy horseradish, fresh lemon juice, and a little Worcestershire sauce, chili powder and salt to round it out. (more…)

December 25, 2010

pizza dough cinnamon rolls with vanilla-espresso cream cheese glaze

Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 2 6-inch pans (about 12 mini rolls 2 inches in diameter and 1 inch deep)

1 package Whole Foods fresh pizza dough (about the size of a softball)
8 Tbsp. butter, divided and softened
1/4 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
flour for rolling out dough

Remove dough from refrigerator, cover lightly with a towel, and let rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375F, and butter bottom and sides of two 6- or 7-inch round baking pans with 1 Tbsp. softened butter per pan.

Sprinkle counter with flour, and roll out dough into a rectangle until 1/4-inch thick. Spread 4 Tbsp. softened butter over entire surface of dough. Sprinkle sugar and salt evenly over the butter, and then sprinkle cinnamon generously over the sugar.

For mini rolls, tightly roll the long end of the rectangular dough over itself, and pinch end of dough against body of dough to seal, using a little warm water on your fingertips to seal the edges as needed. (If you prefer larger rolls, roll the short end over itself, and seal in the same fashion.)

Using a pastry cutter or very sharp knife, slice cinnamon log into 1-inch thick rolls. Do ahead: cinnamon rolls can wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen at this point; defrost in refrigerator one day prior to baking.

Place rolls in buttered round baking pans, leaving a little space between each roll to give it room to rise. Top each cinnamon roll with a small bit of softened butter, evenly distributing the remaining 2 Tbsp. softened butter between the rolls.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until top of rolls is only slightly golden. Remove from oven, and top warm rolls with Vanilla-Espresso Cream Cheese Glaze (recipe below). Serve immediately.

Vanilla-Espresso Cream Cheese Glaze

4 oz. cream cheese or neufchatel cheese (lower in fat and calories, but works equally well in frosting), softened
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. finely ground espresso or coffee beans

Mix together all ingredients until combined. Zap in microwave for 15 seconds if needed to further soften the cream cheese and make the mixture more pourable. Spread over warm cinnamon rolls.

December 21, 2010

roasted cauliflower florets and cauliflower puree

I never really liked cauliflower until I tried it roasted. Turns out that a little love from the oven goes a much longer way on my taste buds than dunking cauliflower in boiling water ever did. I should have known this, but thankfully, I figured it out eventually.

However, even if roasted cauliflower flavored with a little Dijon and some Parmesan had not done it for me, pureed cauliflower bowled me over as a delicious, happens-to-be-healthier alternative to mashed potatoes. At some restaurant awhile back, I remember raving on and on about how wonderful these mashed potatoes tasted, only to realize they were not potatoes but pureed cauliflower. Unlike potatoes, which need a fair amount of butter, cream, sour cream, or cheese to whip up into a creamy, mashed concoction, pureed cauliflower has a naturally creamy texture that sure fooled me. But I can’t say I was tremendously disappointed to find out that the cauliflower puree lacked all these unhealthy add-ins and, instead, was seasoned fairly lightly.

SAM_3055-250 SAM_3063-250

Both roasted cauliflower and cauliflower puree require minimal prep work, as you simply chop the head of cauliflower into florets, toss it with some seasonings, and let it sit in the oven for a bit. Once the florets are tender and lightly browned, you can serve them immediately, or blend them up with an immersion blender or food processor to create a thick puree. The pureed roasted cauliflower is not just an excellent substitute for mashed potatoes, as mentioned above, but can also be diluted with vegetable stock or water for a wonderfully creamy soup that goes exceedingly well with bacon-wrapped scallops.

(more…)

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress